In his news release announcing the order, Gordon indicated that he was taking the measure to limit spread and avoid overburdening the state’s hospitals with a flood of COVID-19 patients.
“Wyoming, like all Americans, must commit to reducing the strain on our healthcare system,” he wrote. “These are hard measures and they will be difficult for employees and businesses alike, but they are warranted.”
Dr. Alexia Harrist, the state’s health officer, wrote that health officials knew this decision was difficult.
“But it is an important step to help them avoid becoming ill and to help them avoid spreading COVID-19 to those who are most vulnerable,” she said. “We should all work together to help keep our friends and neighbors safe.”
Bans similar to Gordon’s have been announced across the country in recent days. On Sunday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the closure of bars and nightclubs. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis issued an order similar to Gordon, closing restaurants to dine-in service and completely shuttering gyms and theaters. Other bans have been enacted in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois and Indiana, among many other states.
“A significant number of Wyoming citizens are at risk of serious health complications, including death, from COVID-19,” Gordon wrote in his order. “Although most individuals who contract COVID-19 do not become seriously ill, people with mild symptoms … place other vulnerable members of the public at significant risk.”